Uhura replacing McCoy/Bones?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by serenitytrek1, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm surprised that so many people think Uhura had no personality. She had bags of personality. People bang on about one line that was originally written for Janice Rand but forget that in that same episode Uhura was placed in charge of a security team. She was a competent electronic technician, professional, extremely intelligent, spirited, and was not afraid to speak her mind.

    I agree that 70% of her appearances were limited cameos but there was an awful lot that Nichelle brought to the role when given other stuff to do.

    In the context of the sixties, Uhura was pretty cool. She lost out because they called in Spock to deal with any even slightly sciency communications issues. If Shatner and Nimoy had not hogged most of the limelight, Uhura Prime's skill set would have been plenty broad enough.
     
  2. The Stig

    The Stig Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Uhura 'lost out' because the character was written as a glorified extra from the start. Nothing more, nothing less. Nimoy and Shatner's egos had nothing to do with it.
     
  3. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not quite. Grace Lee Whitney was the female lead but Uhura had a few character moments in Charlie X, the Man Trap, and the Naked Time. There was more of an ensemble feel to a fair few of the early episodes.

    When they switched down a gear she benefitted from the loss of Whitney and joined a handful of landing party missions but I agree that most of her appearances involved her sitting in her chair mouthing off a few lines. She's fairly impressive in Mirror Mirror. It would only have taken a few tweaks to a few plots to utilise her far more effectively throughout the series but in the sixties a black woman wasn't going to be put in charge of the ship let alone a landing party.

    I do think that the movies did her character no favours though. Her part in STIII was cool but they should have shown how crucial she was to helping the ship escape, scrambling communications and escaping from Starfleet security to seek asylum at the Vulcan Embassy.
     
  4. UFO

    UFO Captain Captain

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    You seem to be confusing lack of screen time with lack of personally, and rather conveniently at that. As Paul6 pointed out, she had her moments. Besides, my view is that the two Uhuras are very different and so far you seem in agreement with that position.


    My view is that Jim shouldn't have been on any ship and Uhura should have been on the ship that needed her the most. Though I admit, I have no idea how such assignments are done in a navy, but the idea that the best cadets are automatically put on the best ships seems overly simplistic.


    I don't follow your argument. It seemed to me the ships probably had perhaps half or more of their crew members already assigned, at least the Enterprise appeared to. The cadets seemed like fill ins. Therefore how could any cadet know if their skills were in demand on any particular ship?

    Even if Spock was wrong (and it apeared to me his concerns were well founded), Uhura wasn't to know that. Her sense of entitlement only works if there is some school yard type linear relationship between how good you are as a cadet (don't forget) and the quality of the ship you "should" be assigned to. Also: "Temporary assignment". Ie. not the end of the world. Let me rephrase that ... . :lol:

    I don't see how that could be clear since I have never been a fan of nuKirk and have said in the past he did little more than be persistent and lucky (and something of a jerk). But it is interesting you should describe nuUhura as "assertive". I would very much agree, because I have always viewed that word as an attempt to rebranded bad manners. In that scene you could cut Uhura's attitude with a knife. Sure it was controlled but that only made it come a cross as curt and disrespectful to a superior officer.
     
  5. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's convenient because it happens to be true.

    The major difference between the two Uhuras is that the old one was a barely-developed extra and the current Uhura is a full-fledged character with personality traits that go beyond "she's nice" and "she's professional".
     
  6. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm pretty sure their relationship was on the DL at that point, for the very reason that Spock is an instructor and Uhura is a cadet. Spock can't recuse himself from such a decision without revealing the relationship.

    She was the most qualified candidate for the post. That certainly gives her the right to question not receiving the post. If there's a good reason for placing her on another ship (and never mind the counterfactuals: there wasn't), how is she to know that except by questioning it? Them that don't ask don't get.

    And I don't see her as 'full of her own importance', just confident, and justifiably so. She's not some random middle-of-the-road cadet; she's the best in her field and she knows she's the best in her field. Just as with Kirk's "I'll do it in three," any 'entitlement' is explicitly shown to be justified.

    As for the alleged lack of 'niceness'... I remember Uhura's pithy "Sorry, neither" when Sulu addressed her as 'Fair maiden' in The Naked Time. To me that seems perfectly consistent with Saldana's portrayal. But others are correct to say that there wasn't very much 'Uhura Prime' to base the reinterpretation on.
     
  7. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Spock said he didn't assign her to the Enterprise because "It was an attempt to avoid the appearance of favoritism"
    If people didn't know about the relationship he wouldn't care about that, she would just be the best cadet getting the best assignment based on her skills.
     
  8. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, I guess I didn't think that through.
     
  9. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    You were OK, thus far (though I confess to being a little skeptical about how honest a discussion you had in mind when you started this thread.)

    However, since I also brought this sort of thing up in another thread this morning:

    As I said in that other thread (and as we both know that I've said to you on more than one occasion before) it ought to be possible to criticize or to mock positions taken or opinions stated without taking swipes at the people who express them. This seeming inability to avoid making things personal has been a recurring problem for you from your earliest posts on this forum, and here's where I draw the line:

    Don't do it again.

    At all.

    Just as you are not your opinion, other people are not theirs. If you continue to be unable to keep people and their opinions separate, then you probably shouldn't be posting on this forum. If you insist upon taking personal swipes at other posters for expressing opinions with which you do not agree, then you need to take that behavior off TrekBBS and post it somewhere else, because here it will henceforth earn you warnings.

    I sincerely hope that I have made myself clear.
     
  10. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    These are good points. Uhura's concern may have been that she could not show Pike how good she was in the hope of a permanent posting on board his ship.

    It may be that the incorrect response was Spock's. He should have said, 'I wanted to avoid the appearance of favouritism but this is only a temporary assignment and rest assured, when we return, Captain Pike [or whoever] will be asked to make a decision on a more permanent posting based on your merits.'

    As an aside, it seems very unlikely that captains or their first officers choose their own crew, although it would be possible for them to request that a particular crewman be assigned to their ship. At most, Uhura was hoping to show Pike her worth so that he might request her I suppose. Seems flimsy and indulgent. Overall, the scene was very simplistic and childish in its approach. It doesn't paint Spock, Uhura, or Starfleet in a particularly favourable light.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2013
  11. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Pauln6, be careful with your QUOTE tags, etc. when you edit a post in the process of replying. Your post above read as if you were replying to The Mirrorball Man, but none of the quoted material was anything he'd said, and passages originally posted by The Stig had no attribution at all. I've made corrections in the above post and one other so that the tags now accurately reflect what was said by whom.
     
  12. Cake

    Cake Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    OldUhura has a personality. She was more of a background character in the past, nevertheless she got over the course of TOS, TAS and some of the old movies more scenes together than NewUhura in the last movie. And I mean scenes, in which she says more than "Hailing frequencies open". I think that was more than enough to get an impression of her personality.
     
  13. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I much prefer nu-Uhura; Zoe Saldana is both a better actor and more attractive than Nichols.
     
  14. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    ^ Agree on the first part, disagree on the second.
     
  15. UFO

    UFO Captain Captain

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    Which would still be a big difference, if it wasn't just a useful assumption.


    And that's why I allowed that she could have done it in a less "wasn't I all that" and "didn't I do this" fashion. Isn't it possible that the assignment she first got was a better post on a "lesser" ship and thus offered better opportunities for advancement? Maybe cadets should have to work their way up a bit no matter who or how good they are? That's the problem with the younger generation, always wanting to start on the top rung. Why I remember in my day ... . :lol:

    No body's perfect and that situation probably wouldn't find anyone at their best, But then again, I am not saying old Unhura didn't have a varied personality, unlike some.


    That too is a good point. Doubtless she would have hoped to be assigned to the Enterprise. My concern is that she seemed to take it as a foregone conclusion. As you say, I don't know how realistic that is. Now perhaps if I had found it a fun interlude, I wouldn't be so concerned. But:

    Indeed and it seems strange Spock should be given that job anyway. Wouldn't someone in personnel be handling it? Did all the first officers assign cadets however they liked or did Spock do it for every ship? Now that would be a conflict of interest! ;)
     
  16. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Trek is often guilty of giving 'inappropriate' tasks to main characters - I view Spock as primarily a physicist with expertise in Sensors, Maths, and Computing but he often deals with communications issues and engineering issues. Programming the Kobayashi Maru test fits with his character though and he might be delegated the task of assigning cadets because he was most recently involved in assessing them. Like Data you feel that Spock just needs more hours in the day and he could run everything single-handed.

    I recall one episode of Voyager where the crew had to go on a geology mission. Instead of introducing a ship's geologist, they picked main characters who had taken geology for one semester and Neelix because he went in a cave once.

    As a trained biologist and a qualified medic, Chapel could have gone on loads more away missions than she did.

    In 2 hour movies it will be hard to give all the characters interesting and appropriate moments to shine but from the pictures I've seen it does look as though Uhura is going to be given a more prominent role. I hope they give her something to do because she is qualified to do it not because they want the heroine to be in peril or because she's out to help her man.
     
  17. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    Define 'possible'. Do you mean that, in-story, Uhura cannot know for certain that the post she perceives as inferior is not necessary or better for her? I have nothing that can prove she could. OTOH if you're just inviting me to speculate that that may in fact have been the case, then I'd have to disagree. The Enterprise is the flagship. Nothing really trumps that.

    But none of that matters. 'Destiny' is as close as we can get to an overriding theme of ST09, and it's Uhura's destiny to be, for a time at least, the Communications Officer of the USS Enterprise, Captain James T. Kirk commanding. If you don't like the attitude she takes in the course of fulfilling that destiny, what can I say? You don't like it. I can't really talk you out of that.

    Yup.
     
  18. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Budgetwise, of course, they usually need to maximise the use of the contracted feature actors.
     
  19. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    There was also the premise in Voyager that half the trained and qualified Starfleet crew complement had been lost during the catastrophic trip to the Delta quadrant in the pilot episode, necessitating their joining of forces with the Maquis crew and leading to duty shifts by some characters in areas other than that of their specialty (e.g., Tom Paris doing some duty in Sick Bay because he'd received some secondary medical training.) Voyager fudged on this often enough that it was good to see them at least trying to remember that "Oh, hey, we probably don't have a dedicated ship's geologist any more - he was killed in 'Caretaker, Part 1,' right?"
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  20. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    I did like the way that occasionally in TOS we'd get to see Scotty's repair crews actually doing stuff in engineering (albeit under Scott's direction). Seemed much more realistic.